Commentator apologises after Jackson Hastings fumes at remark

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Fox League commentator Andrew Voss has shown his class by apologising for a lighthearted joke about dumped Newcastle halfback Jackson Hastings.

The experienced rugby league caller was commentating the Knights’ loss to the Warriors at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon when he mentioned Hastings as cameras panned to a group of NSW Cup players from Newcastle sitting on the hill.

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Given Hastings had just played for the Knights’ NSW Cup team in their 26-12 loss to the Warriors, Voss joked that the playmaker was in the group and was sleeping.

The comment frustrated Hastings, who quickly took to social media to declare he was not on the hill but instead sitting with teammates in the grandstand.

“Unsure who is commentating our game but to make a false statement about me ‘sleeping’ on the hill when I’m currently sitting in the grandstand with the rest of my team is ridiculous but not surprising, to go with multiple lies told over the last few weeks,” Hastings wrote on X.

“If you’re going to make a claim that you’re ‘100 per cent’ make sure you’re 100 per cent, because you’re wrong, again.”

Many NRL fans on X, formerly Twitter, criticised Hastings for taking the lighthearted comment as if it was a derogatory remark towards him.

“Not everyone is out to get you, bro. It was just a tongue-in-cheek comment. Focus on what you can control and stop letting everything get to you. Let the footy do the talking,” one NRL fan wrote.

“There was no cheap shot. They saw someone who looked very much like him and just made a very lighthearted comment,” another fan wrote.

However Voss responded soon after with an apology to Hastings.

“Apology to you Jackson. Certainly wasn’t delivered with any critical intent. Mistake made,” Voss wrote on X.

“Hope we are calling you in the top grade against next week v Dragons.”

Hastings accepted the apology, writing: “Appreciate it Vossy, all love and respect mate.”

The 28-year-old playmaker will be hoping to be selected back in the Knights first-grade team for their match against the Dragons on Friday night.

His place in the team was taken by the club’s new recruit Jack Cogger amid criticism of the team’s attack looking slow in the opening rounds.

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